Ingram Micro, a global provider of IT supply chain and mobile device lifecycle services and logistics solutions, is teaming up with SAP to help expand the market reach of SAP’s enterprise mobility solutions. Ingram Micro has a long reach into the SMB market through a variety of channels, and as SAP is looking for ways to extend its own reach into the SMB space, it makes good sense for the two to team up. In particular, SAP anticipates that Ingram Micro Mobility will be able to leverage its value-added reseller (VAR) channel to help push SAP solutions into smaller businesses.
Toward that goal, beginning next week Ingram Micro Mobility will strive to deliver into its VAR community the SAP mobile platform, which includes SAP Afaria mobile device management (MDM) and SAP’s portfolio of more than 300 mobile apps. These apps, some of which come from SAP's acquisition of Sybase and some of which have been developed at SAP, have all been thoroughly field tested. They range from productivity solutions to complex transactions that require SAP's underlying enterprise-grade ERP platforms. Ingram Micro’s distribution infrastructure will allow the company to deliver the SAP mobile apps on-demand to both its VAR community and its own end customers.
SAP has been building an extensive mobile ecosystem consisting of its own mobile platforms and products as well as an extensive collection of partnerships that encompass both mobile app development as well as distribution (such as today's partnership with Ingram).
Much of necessary technology delivery infrastructure that Ingram Micro will use to get the SAP products into the right global distribution channels will come through its acquisition of BrightPoint, for which Ingram Micro shelled out $840 million dollars in July 2012. That was a good acquisition for the company and today's SAP deal is a good example of why we believe this is the case for that M&A deal.
As part of the deal, Ingram Micro will also undertake to educate its VAR community on how to successfully drive business in a mobility-centric world as well as show them how the SAP mobile platform can best be leveraged in the SMB market. In truth, our understanding is that many VARs already have a great deal of demand from their own customers to deliver on both mobility and SAP's solutions. We doubt it will take much effort on Ingram's part here - it will be preaching to the mobility choir.
Sanjay Poonen, president of Technology Solutions and head of Mobile Division for SAP, has been the key driver behind SAP's extensive efforts to reach all levels of business for its mobile platforms, and has been doing so for well over three years now. Ingram Micro is merely another well-planned effort to add to the SAP mobile delivery mechanisms he has put in place. He notes that, “SAP and Ingram Micro are teaming up to serve enterprises of all sizes, enabling them to quickly and confidently mobilize their workforces with little complexity, minimal set-up time and lowered implementation, management and infrastructure costs. We fully expect our mobile capabilities to jointly benefit both our and Ingram's customers and resellers. It will also thousands of small development firms and individual developers to innovate on top of SAP’s industry-leading mobile platform and solutions.”
Those small development firms and individual developers that Poonen makes reference to will indeed be a key to the partnership. We especially look forward to Ingram Micro pushing SAP mobility into their numerous and myriad mobile avenues of business.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey